Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recovered and Educated

Earlier in the week I tried to blog, but alas it just did not come to fruition. Around 9 pm on Sunday evening I had that funny feeling in my stomach. You know, the one that says, hmmm, things are just not settled in this here cavity. Needless to say, things continued to stir. I thought it was something I had eaten during the day and when sunrise rolled around, I did feel a bit better, just dehydrated.

After stopping for a few bottles of hydrating liquid, I headed down to keep Cupcake. She had the day off from preschool and I told her that Nunu was not feeling well. So we had a very lazy day. The fun part was letting her choose movies to watch. We had a Christmas movie event! Rudolph, Grinch and some other Christmas delight. When we did play, I was “allowed” to lie on the bed as long as I performed the voices of any critter she desired to play with. I did as I was instructed and she was so sweet to me. Even when see very quietly told me to try to keep my eyes open!

After arriving home, the bed was calling my name. My sweet husband came into the bedroom and found me asleep, with my laptop on my belly. I knew I had to feel better the next day because I was headed to Huntsville to mentor with Erin Cobb and I was not about to miss this opportunity!

I found Erin’s blog/website through another blog I follow by Karen Russell. Karen teaches an awesome online photography class that I took last year and after reading about a visit that Erin made to Karen’s home, I began following Erin’s blog/website. I was thrilled beyond measure when Erin developed and recently released her Clean Color Workflow image editing process. All I can say is WOW! I have begun to use this simple, yet powerful, image editing process and love, love, love it! For me, it provides a wonderful foundation. Sometimes it’s the only editing that my photograph needs and other times it lays the groundwork for other enhancing. That’s what is so awesome about it!

Toward the end of last year I discovered that Erin occasionally provided mentoring. I knew immediately that this one-on-one time was exactly what I needed. What I had been looking for. What I wanted. We made contact, picked a date and to Huntsville I drove this week. We had a delightful dinner on Tuesday evening and a full day on Wednesday with a yummilicious lunch of grilled pimento cheese sandwiches. Ooo la la!

I gleaned so much from this time with Erin. We covered so many topics (sorry if I bounced around too much Erin) and on the drive home, I didn’t turn even turn on the radio. I tried to process everything or at least put the information into my brain’s filing cabinet. And now folks, a public note to Erin:

Erin, you gave me so much to think about and helped me focus or at least realize that I needed to focus on some issues. Important issues. You have helped me to begin the sorting process and reassured me that I really don’t stink at this. Thank you for sharing, for giving and for opening up your home and business to me. I understand metering fully now! Thank you! I really get it and I won’t forget it! I feel like I have a plan of action and look forward to the road ahead. I also look forward to a future session with you. Yes, I will be back! Thank you Erin! Thank you will all my heart.

And a little note to Karen Russell: Thank you Karen for sharing your skills, your lessons and your life, with all of us bloggie folks. I don’t even know how I found you, but I am so thankful I did. You set the little wheels in motion and taught me that telling the story is important. That is what I want to do, tell the story in pictures. Thank you for sharing about your time with Erin. Again, you set a wheel in motion for me and I continue to learn and grow. I look forward to more lessons as you grow in your business. Thanks Karen! And if we are ever up your way, I just might say HI!

So, all that to say, even with a not-so-feeling-great week, it was very productive and educational! I am filled with happiness at what may come my way!

So, now I leave you with a parting shot……..I love when Cupcake takes her self-portrait! So does she!


Sunday, February 20, 2011


About a month ago I had the pleasure of photographing my first newborn (other than Cupcake). I was nervous, excited, unsure, overjoyed, apprehensive, thrilled, etc. You get the scenario. I prayed hard during the days leading up to the shoot and continued on the drive up. I wanted everything to go well and for the pictures to be amazing. Not for me, well, maybe partially for me, but for Lilly’s parents. These first new photographs are so important and special.

When I arrived and knocked on the door, all of the nervousness disappeared. I felt sure. I felt confident. I felt happy. Then, Lilly wouldn’t go to sleep. She wanted to check me out, see what I was up to, and show me her beautiful eyes. Then I started to get a wee bit nervous. She was suppose to go to sleep. Most of the photographs I had studied were of babies asleep. Most of the lessons I had read pertained to sleeping babies.

Thank you Lilly for not going to sleep, right away. Your eyes inspired me and I believe the most divine photographs were of you awake!

Thank you Lilly for eventually going to sleep. Those photographs are precious. Your sweet face is so angelic.

Thank you Lilly for allowing me to hold and sway you in my arms. You helped me remember those newborn feelings that Mamas experience, even if it was  and long 25 and 21 years ago.

Lilly, you were so sweet and you are so beautiful. Your Mama and Daddy are blessed to have you. I know they love you endlessly, it shows. I saw it in there eyes. I saw it in the way your Mama held you and fed you. I felt it in their home.

Thank you Natalie and Blake, for everything.














Visit my website to see all of the photographs and a special slideshow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reb Goes to Preschool

Valentine’s Day was this past Monday and Cupcake Girl had her first Valentine’s Day Party at preschool. She wasn’t really sure what a “Valentine Party” was all about, but her Mama and I tried our best to describe it. One thing she knew for sure, was that her Aunt Reb was traveling in for a short visit and was coming to the party. Yipee! She was pretty excited about that!

Cupcake was all decked out in her pink tutu, pigtails and rain boots. When the class walked in from playing outside, Cupcake was the “caboose.” Boy did her eyes lite up when she saw Reb. She gave Reb a quick little hug, then joined her class on the carpet to get ready for snack.


Those little kiddos are so cute and funny. They all seemed a bit calm at first and while they ate, but following snack those little bundles found their excitement button. During music time they were singing a song called Who Do You Love. Throughout the song they passed around a little monkey to a person they love. Cupcake gave it to Reb.


Following music was sharing time then, ding, it was time to go home. The class passed out their Valentines earlier that morning so the party took up the last hour of preschool. After most of the kids left, Cupcake took her Reb by the hand and showed her all the exciting things the classroom offered.


Cupcake and I took Reb to a favorite lunch spot, Taco Mamacitas, and we were joined by two of Reb’s former co-workers. Cupcake Girl was delightfully funny, as usual.  After lunch we had to leave Reb and head back to Cupcake’s house to decorate for Valentine’s Day. When we were in the car she said, “I just yuv Reb!” Me too, Cupcake, me too. And most of all she loves you!
















Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Morning

I thought I heard a strange racket this morning while I was trying to wake up. What had that Kitten gotten into now? It wasn’t her usual “running through the house” noise. The closet door in the hallway was open. Now how did she do that? Oh well, I closed it.

A bit later, while I was checking email, there was more unusual noise and a shrill critter sound. Plus the dog was whining. Okay, okay, let me see what’s going on.














What is she up to?














She was very serious and not moving a muscle. Grabbed the flashlight and look what I found….














Oh my.














Dang. How did that little critter get in here? Bet I know. The Great Hunter Kitten. She loves to bring in critters and let them go so she can hunt them in the comfort of her own surroundings.














After several attempts to persuade Mouse Critter to leave the sanctuary underneath the bookcase and be captured by cat or dog, I gave up. I don’t know if Mouse Critter is still in the confines of our bedroom, but I wasn’t the only one to give up.














She is such a bum! Prefers catching some zzzzzz’s in the sunlight rays over hunting. Let’s just hope Mouse Critter leaves the premises before bedtime or we are in for a night of stalking and pouncing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


….in the middle of the night, when I get up to go to the bathroom, I look for that black, furry blog next to my side of the bed so I won’t step on her, but she’s not there

….when it’s time to leave the house I catch myself saying, “Doggies, go to the laundry room” or “Goodbye my doggie friends,” but there’s only one dog

….I feel the brush of fur against my leg as I sit at my computer, but it’s just Kitten

….I glance down at the empty water bowl and wonder why a certain doggie didn’t notify me, then I remember why

….as I walk by the bedroom window I see a little black dog running up the driveway and I wonder if I left the gate open, then I realize it’s just the neighbor doggie going back home

….when I arrive back home and there isn’t any barking, I wonder why, then I remember

….I open the hutch door and I see her food bowl still sitting there and I leave it, just because

….when I have to buy doggie snacks I realize I don’t have to get the senior dog biscuits anymore

Sometimes, I miss her more than other times.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Let’s Go Looking for Cranes!

When Cupcake was around 17 months old, we went on a little field trip to find the Sand Hill Cranes. After several trips to different locations, we were finally successful! It was my first time seeing them and it was a royal treat! As we drove to the top of a small hill, you could hear their “bird cry.” We all three quickly exited from the car and after a few short minutes of observing them, all the cranes took off in flight. Flapping their giant wings and calling to the others, “It’s time to fly now.” It was amazing!

Last year, around this time, we sought them out again and oh boy did we find them! There were hundreds of them. Some were already on the ground and others were circling in the air, then swooping in for a landing. Again, it was amazing and Cupcake was delighted.

This year the cranes migrated a bit early. I believe they felt the coming onslaught of our recent winter storms and decided to get the heck out of Dodge (or rather Wisconsin). So we decided to make this crane journey an annual pilgrimage with Cupcake. First we drove to the field where we found them at last year, but they weren’t there. Since we had some time, we drove out to the Hiwassee Refuge. We heard them, but couldn’t see them. crane1












We saw several cranes flying and we could see in a distance where they had settled into a small gully. We stayed around for a few minutes, until the cold got the best of us. Cupcake tried her best to see the cranes with her binoculars. I’m not sure if she was successful, but she did see them flying over and heard them calling in the distance. It satisfied her.









































The wind was bitterly cold (not as cold as Chicago is currently experiencing) but still, cold. Cupcake was enjoying herself immensely! She was running around the observation deck, dispensing advice about hunting the cranes and cawing like a crow. Yes, crow cawing, and she is quite good at it. The cold didn’t seem to bother her too much, that’s for sure!















Back in the car, we drove on a back road back to civilization. After several miles I saw an unusual looking animal to my left. And then as we crept along the side of the road we saw a group of other critters.





























What a grand and glorious critter day! The cranes will be around for a bit longer, so hopefully we will have another opportunity to cruise into the Hiawassee Refuge by way of boat. That river journey should bring a viewing of a few eagles as well.

And for a parting shot……may I introduce Little Crow Girl!